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1.  Open field trial of genetically modified parthenocarpic tomato: seedlessness and fruit quality 
BMC Biotechnology  2005;5:32.
Parthenocarpic tomato lines transgenic for the DefH9-RI-iaaM gene have been cultivated under open field conditions to address some aspects of the equivalence of genetically modified (GM) fruit in comparison to controls (non-GM).
Under open field cultivation conditions, two tomato lines (UC 82) transgenic for the DefH9-RI-iaaM gene produced parthenocarpic fruits. DefH9-RI-iaaM fruits were either seedless or contained very few seeds. GM fruit quality, with the exception of a higher β-carotene level, did not show any difference, neither technological (colour, firmness, dry matter, °Brix, pH) nor chemical (titratable acidity, organic acids, lycopene, tomatine, total polyphenols and antioxidant capacity – TEAC), when compared to that of fruits from control line. Highly significant differences in quality traits exist between the tomato F1 commercial hybrid Allflesh and the three UC 82 genotypes tested, regardless of whether or not they are GM. Total yield per plant did not differ between GM and parental line UC 82. Fruit number was increased in GM lines, and GM fruit weight was decreased.
The use in the diet of fruits from a new line or variety introduces much greater changes than the consumption of GM fruits in comparison to its genetic background. Parthenocarpic fruits, produced under open field conditions, contained 10-fold less seeds than control fruits. Thus parthenocarpy caused by DefH9-RI-iaaM gene represents also a tool for mitigating GM seeds dispersal in the environment.
PMCID: PMC1361772  PMID: 16371162
2.  The defH9-iaaM auxin-synthesizing gene increases plant fecundity and fruit production in strawberry and raspberry 
BMC Biotechnology  2004;4:4.
The DefH9-iaaM gene fusion which is expressed specifically in placenta/ovules and promotes auxin-synthesis confers parthenocarpic fruit development to eggplant, tomato and tobacco. Transgenic DefH9-iaaM eggplants and tomatoes show increased fruit production due mainly to an improved fruit set. However, the weight of the fruits is also frequently increased.
DefH9-iaaM strawberry and raspberry plants grown under standard cultivation conditions show a significant increase in fruit number and size and fruit yield. In all three Rosaceae species tested, Fragaria vesca, Fragaria x ananassa and Rubus idaeus, DefH9-iaaM plants have an increased number of flowers per inflorescence and an increased number of inflorescences per plant. This results in an increased number of fruits per plant. Moreover, the weight and size of transgenic fruits was also increased. The increase in fruit yield was approximately 180% in cultivated strawberry, 140% in wild strawberry, and 100% in raspberry. The DefH9-iaaM gene is expressed in the flower buds of all three species. The total IAA (auxin) content of young flower buds of strawberry and raspberry expressing the DefH9-iaaM gene is increased in comparison to untransformed flower buds. The DefH9-iaaM gene promotes parthenocarpy in emasculated flowers of both strawberry and raspberry.
The DefH9-iaaM gene is expressed and biologically active in Rosaceae. The DefH9-iaaM gene can be used, under cultivation conditions that allow pollination and fertilization, to increase fruit productivity significantly in Rosaceae species. The finding that the DefH9-iaaM auxin-synthesizing gene increases the number of inflorescences per plant and the number of flowers per inflorescence indicates that auxin plays a role in plant fecundity in these three perennial Rosaceae species.
PMCID: PMC394336  PMID: 15113427
DefH9-iaaM; Flower; Fruit; Inflorescence; Raspberry; Strawberry
3.  Genetic transformation of Vitis vinifera via organogenesis 
BMC Biotechnology  2002;2:18.
Efficient transformation and regeneration methods are a priority for successful application of genetic engineering to vegetative propagated plants such as grape. The current methods for the production of transgenic grape plants are based on Agrobacterium-mediated transformation followed by regeneration from embryogenic callus. However, grape embryogenic calli are laborious to establish and the phenotype of the regenerated plants can be altered.
Transgenic grape plants (V. vinifera, table-grape cultivars Silcora and Thompson Seedless) were produced using a method based on regeneration via organogenesis. In vitro proliferating shoots were cultured in the presence of increasing concentrations of N6-benzyl adenine. The apical dome of the shoot was removed at each transplantation which, after three months, produced meristematic bulk tissue characterized by a strong capacity to differentiate adventitious shoots. Slices prepared from the meristematic bulk were used for Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of grape plants with the gene DefH9-iaaM. After rooting on kanamycin containing media and greenhouse acclimatization, transgenic plants were transferred to the field. At the end of the first year of field cultivation, DefH9-iaaM grape plants were phenotypically homogeneous and did not show any morphological alterations in vegetative growth. The expression of DefH9-iaaM gene was detected in transgenic flower buds of both cultivars.
The phenotypic homogeneity of the regenerated plants highlights the validity of this method for both propagation and genetic transformation of table grape cultivars. Expression of the DefH9-iaaM gene takes place in young flower buds of transgenic plants from both grape cultivars.
PMCID: PMC130035  PMID: 12354328
Vitis vinifera; meristem regeneration; genetic transformation; gene expression; DefH9-iaaM gene

Results 1-3 (3)